I am feeling dapper about writing at the moment, which is fortunate, because the world of work seems to have taken a hiatus: cancelled copyediting projects; children no longer in need of a tutor; online interviews that tag back and forth and haggle and confirm, before disappearing one morning into the internet abyss, never to answer their emails again.
I am a little tired of 'competing' in an 'online marketplace' as if writing was a scrap to the bottom dollar. I am sick of people asking me to write articles at $3 for 500 words (minus agency fees and exchange rates and withdrawal costs) and looking at Bangladeshi copywriters who charge $1.11 an hour. I am bored of chasing jobs to prove my worth and businessmen who will haggle and chip away at my fee and then hand me their eBook to edit where they discuss how they made six million dollars last year (clue: by haggling and chipping away at the money they give to anyone for anything).
It's not all bad because really work is only the thing that keeps me in liquor and holidays, and once the schools are back there will be more teaching to teach, and a nice boy has promised me rent-free living in exchange for kisses and lazy takeout evenings in exchange for soup.
The other nice thing is that I have become quite ridiculously domesticated and have been making all manner of foodstuffs, in a hoardy, winter-is-coming kind of way. Like chutney and bread and whisky liqueur with brambles from the marshes. I have discovered the cure for all internet malaise is to pummel some dough into quivering submission, or to ride my bike to the fields and forage for berries and come home with scratches and nettle stings on my skirted knees.
As well as this, there are also words and writing, of course.
Reading poetry to the good people of Resonance FM, drinking whisky in the radio studio, talking about masturbation in bookstores.
Writing for photographers to take pictures of my words and making words of photographers pictures for New Jersey's Conveyor Arts.
Finishing a poetry chapbook and sending it to potential publishers. Watch this handcrafted, fingerfolded space.
Being asked to read at the last ever Golden Hour in Edinburgh's Fringe Festival. Actually, this kind of makes me ecstatic and gutted and many other things which will likely remain inexpressible until I am sitting drunkenly amongst some of my favourite people, remembering all of the last four years of tour. If it wasn't for the Golden Hour/Forest Publications/Ryan, well, everything would be very different for me as a writer and person and there will be tears before bedtime, and gin, I'm sure.
I have also been feeling good about positive rejections. There haven't been any acceptances recently, sure, but I'm trying to aim higher y'see and only send to places I really really want to be in. And also take rejections with a nod to try harder: either try harder to make the writing better, or try harder to research where I'm sending things and only put them places they belong.
This month I have heard: "No, but...
...we were impressed with the very evocative imagery in both of them"
...Although I liked the writing, I'm afraid this piece is not quite right for us"
...it's a well-crafted and well-told short story. Unfortunately ... this piece is simply far too much in the so-called "literary" style for us to really have much need of it."
This is a distinct mark up from "We've read it carefully. Unfortunately, we didn't feel it was quite right for us. If you have something else you think is right for our magazine, please feel free to try us again in the future."
Also, another small good thing: I'm learning to make cheese.